So how do you guard yourself from the schemes of Satan and protect yourself from “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life”? Allow me to offer three suggestions that may help you guard your heart against the schemes of Satin.
Clothe Yourself with Humility – Many pastors talk as if they are experts on the Christian life. They don’t speak honestly about their own struggles with sin and pride. They don’t ask others to pray for them, they don’t ask for advice or council from members of their congregation. This type of relationship with the church is harmful.
- Don’t only give answers to the questions other people have about God. Be sure to ask questions and be willing to learn from others.
- Don’t only speak to others about areas of sin and pride in their lives, but be willing to speak honestly about your own issues and seek wise council from other Christians.
- Don’t speak to your congregation as if you are not a member of it.
- Don’t seek to be viewed as a “professional Christians” but as a regular Christian with heightened responsibilities.
Since we are all “priests” to one another and we are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” It is necessary for us to clothe ourselves in humility, especially before those in our congregations.
Surround yourself with Accountability – Surround yourself with trusted advisers who are faithful to the Lord, committed to your well being and the well being of your congregation. Seek men who know you well, understand your weaknesses and are confident enough confront you when they see unhealthy patterns forming in your personal life or your pastoral ministry.
Serve in Plurality – For the protection of the church it is wise to begin with a team of competent and qualified pastors. If this isn’t a possibility, be sure to find at least one partner to join you in your church planting efforts. A partner in the ministry will assist you in wise decision-making, will share the workload and will give validity to your work.
As a church-planting pastor you will be spending countless hours investing other people. Be sure to spend ample time nurturing your own relationship with Christ so you have valuable wisdom a to dispense to others. These measures of accountability will not insure your survival as a church planter but they will certainly increase the odds that you and your family remain healthy through the process of starting new congregations.